Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Quote for the Week

  • There is only one journey--going inside yourself.
  • Rainer Maria Rilke

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Women Writing Together

Twelve women gathered around the dining room table.  We’d been meeting for several years to talk about end of life issues.  Now we were moving in a new direction.  This evening we’d been asked to write about a “branching” time, a time when our lives took a turn and we began walking a new path, for some of us an unexpected path, for some an unwanted one, for others a path that was planned in advance.  In any case, after that branch our lives were never the same.

I thought we knew each other well after so many sharing sessions, but tonight each woman opened up about a time in her life she hadn’t shared before.  Each talked about their feelings, their fears and aspirations, their encounters with the unknown.  One talked about going back to work and how it ended her marriage, another about the loss of a first love, another about her uncertainties concerning retirement.  Several women had chosen to combine marriage with careers and told how they’d gotten their first jobs.  I heard how determined they were to get exactly the positions they wanted.

I was deeply touched by each woman’s openness and willingness to share both dark moments and successes. I know them now, in a different, more profound way.
 We are the first generation to leave the kitchen for the boardroom.  We are clever and brave, assertive and proud of ourselves and our accomplishments.  We’ve accepted our losses and embraced new lives.  Our stories are different from our mothers’.  We are pioneers, a special group of women who struck out into unknown territory.  Yogi Berra famously  said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”  We all reached our “forks,” and whether we turned left or right, we strode on.  Many of us took the road less traveled and forged new paths for the women who will come after us.  In the roads we chose and the obstacles we overcame, we are all women of courage.
 Note:  The picture above isn't us--it's generic.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Quote for the Week

"Meanings are not determined by situations, but we determine ourselves by the meanings we give."   Unknown

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Books of August

Well, here is September, already over half gone, and I'm just getting around to posting my August reads.
A book club choice and a good one.  It's a sweet story about a man who owns a bookstore on an island.  Filled with literary allusions and charming characters, it's a delightful read.  Maya, the daughter A.J. adopts, was left one morning in his bookstore.  During her childhood she often muses about places where other children were left--a butcher shop, a shoe store, for instance--and how lucky she was to be left in a bookstore.  My favorite character after A.J. was the police chief.  When we first meet him, he insists he's never been a reader, but later he starts a detectives' book club that meets at A.J.'s store. 

Another book club selection.  If you ever want to read about a thoroughly unlikeable title character, this is the book for  you.  Serena will stop at nothing, not even murder, to achieve her ambition to become a great timber baron.  Is she supposed to be a modern day Lady Macbeth who leads her equally ambitious but slightly less heartless  husband into carrying out her diabolical plans?  If you like characters with no redeeming qualities, this is the book for you.

I was suckered into reading this by a review on Amazon, so I bought it.  Why did I finish it?  One of my father's sayings was, "Never be a quitter," so I feel obligated to finish books I start, even when I don't like them.  (The one exception was Ulysses--I could not get into James Joyce).  Anyway, this is the story of some college students who play a "game" which they make up and which sort of haunts them for the rest of their lives.  It sounded intriguing but it definitely wasn't.  And I never understood the game.  This one gets a D minus.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Quote for the Week

                 The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.
                                                      William James

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Moth Story Slam

"Moth" is broadcast on NPR at noon on Saturdays.  It's a show on which people tell their stories. My friend Marie listens to the show every Saturday and recommends it highly.  I've always meant to listen, but I haven't; however, when Marie suggested going to a "story slam" at Houston's chapter of Moth (the only one in Texas), I readily agreed and joined Marie and Millie.

The program was held in a warehouse in a newly trendy area near downtown known as EADO (East of Downtown, sort of like New York's SOHO) and featured ten storytellers, each given five minutes to tell a personal story on the theme of Betrayal.  Three groups of judges scored the speakers from 1 to 10. Between speakers the master (rather, mistress) of ceremonies told some of her own stories and read one-liners from the audience.  What a hoot!  Most of the storytellers told of lovers or spouses who betrayed them, but one guy told a hilarious tale of working one summer for a traveling carnival and betraying his boss.  He was my favorite and I was disappointed that he didn't win.

The auditorium was packed.  Of course, there was a bar and a counter where you could buy Moth t-shirts.  We clapped and cheered for the storytellers and promised ourselves we'd come back next month. 

Recently "100 Places to See in Houston before You Die" came out.  I haven't found it in stores yet, but I hope Moth is one of the hundred.  If you have access to a Moth in your city, be sure and go.  If not, listen to the radio broadcast.  It's great fun.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Quote for the Week

It's the way you ride the trail that counts.
I saw this along with a picture eulogizing Dr. Red Duke, the legendary founder of Houston's Life Flight.  Actually it's a quote from "Happy Trails," the theme song of Roy Rogers.  It applies to everyone, cowboy or not.  It's not the difficulties you encounter, but the way you deal with them that matters.


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